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 BEAD WORK......

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FrontierGander
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PostSubject: BEAD WORK......   April 3rd 2018, 7:51 pm

I don't know if any one does bead work here, but I am going crazy with it! I made a new beaded capper, 4 bear claw neck laces, earrings for a girl friend at time. This is addicting!

Not the latest but one of my favorites with the green turquoise. Made another just like it, except with coal black beads between the green beads.
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Buck Conner
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PostSubject: Re: BEAD WORK......   April 4th 2018, 7:49 am

Jon, be sure your using glass beads and not plastic which are hard to check with the better plastics today. Tap them on your front teeth the sound is different between glass and plastic. Look at the color of your beads then compare to these original blue beads.

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I bought, swapped, traded and sold antique trade beads for over 30 years in the store. 

Most of our customers didn't have a clue what they were looking at, other than beautiful glass beads. You would try to explain the history on a few of them - being made over two hundred years or more, the beads they were looking at were made in Murano by a method known as "winding." With this method, beads were made individually by drawing a molten glob of glass out of the furnace and winding it around an iron rod. Glass of another color could then be added, or the bead could be decorated with a design. Coloring agents were added to the molten glass: cobalt made blue; copper produced green; tin made a milky white; and gold resulted in red. Wound beads from a master glassmaker were so perfect it was hard to find a seam where the different molten glasses merged.

Another method was blown glass beads. Using this method, a glob of molten glass was removed from the furnace and the desired shape obtained by blowing through a glass tube—much the same way glass vases are made. 

The glass industry was able to keep up with demand using these two methods until the mid- to late 1400’s. Once European countries started sending ships around the world, ship captains and explorers carried beads made of glass, porcelain, and metal to use as gifts, or for the fur trade. The slow method of winding beads could not keep up with this new demand.

Around 1490, Venetians started to make beads from tubes of drawn glass; Egyptians may have used this process centuries before. With this procedure, a master glassmaker took a glob of molten glass from the furnace and formed a cylinder. After working the cylinder into the desired shape, he attached a rod to the cylinder. An assistant took the end of the rod and run down a long corridor before the glass cooled. The drawn glass tube was about one hundred and twenty meters long. The length of the tube and the amount of glass used determined the size of the beads. Once the tubes cooled, they were cut into meter long pieces. These pieces were cut into beads of various sizes. The cut beads were placed in a large metal drum containing lime, carbonate, sand, carbon, and water. While the metal drum turned, heat was applied to the outside causing the rough-cut edges to be smoothed. After the beads were smooth, they were cleaned and then placed in a sack of fermented bran and vigorously shaken to polish them. The monochrome glass beads of today are not much different from those made five hundred years ago.

By the 1500’s, the demand for glass beads reached the point Venetians were sending drawn glass tubes to Bohemia. There the glass tubes were broken into beads, polished, and sent back to Venice. The Bohemians (Czechoslovakia) had been making glassware, vases, and cups since the twelfth century.

With an abundance of willing workers, quartz for the silicon base of glass, and potash from wood-burning furnaces, Bohemia sent men to work in the glass factories of Murano. The knowledge these men brought back on how to make the drawn glass tubes turned Bohemia into a major producer of glass beads.  By the mid-eighteen hundreds, Bohemia was producing more glass beads than the factories in Murano.

The down side was in the 1960's traders took advantage of the ones wearing these beads (handed down for centuries through that person's family). These people were starving and those beads could get them 20 lbs. of rice that would feed their family. That same set of beads netted the traders 1000 fold in profits, in other words $5 buck of rice turned into several hundred dollars when sold in North America (wholesale). The dealers did the same, a bead he just paid wholesale for at $5 turned into $30 plus (nice profit). Today on ebay there are hundreds dealers, you have to watch what your buying as many are new beads with asking prices of ones that are hundreds of years old.

     

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stoney1
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PostSubject: Re: BEAD WORK......   April 4th 2018, 3:59 pm

@FrontierGander wrote:
I don't know if any one does bead work here, but I am going crazy with it! I made a new beaded capper, 4 bear claw neck laces, earrings for a girl friend at time. This is addicting!

Not the latest but one of my favorites with the green turquoise. Made another just like it, except with coal black beads between the green beads.
Frontier Gander
 I don't do much bead work ( for obvious reasons) but I get mine from Fire Mountain Gem and Bead company in California. Check them out. They have tons of good glass Cheque beads. I like the Italian Milifiori glass beads. Unless you want to spend 3 bucks apiece for "real"???? trade beads. These are as close as you'll get.
http://www.firemountaingems.com/search/?keywords=Milifiori+glass+beads
Stoney

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Buck Conner
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PostSubject: Re: BEAD WORK......   April 5th 2018, 7:31 am

Stoney there are so many folks dealing with original 1600 -1800 trade beads anymore, it's a crap shoot as to who one uses. Ebay has a large dealer base that are hungry and will wheel and deal to move inventory. The difference between late "art deco" (fancy with half a dozen colors per bead - not available until the late 1800's - not correct) and what was really available in the fur trade (plain one to three colors) is where folks selling them will sometime give out wrong information. It's all about research before making that purchase, plus knowing the sizes - research again. Go to Museum of the Fur Trade's website and look around. http://www.furtrade.org/

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Buck Conner
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PostSubject: Re: BEAD WORK......   April 6th 2018, 3:36 pm

Stoney the different tribes used many of the same colors because that was what was available form the traders in the day. The biggest difference in beads and how they are used in the combinations of colors (one color used against another color, if that makes it clearer).

Here's a reference to this written years ago.


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stoney1
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PostSubject: Re: BEAD WORK......   April 6th 2018, 5:59 pm

@Buck Conner wrote:
Stoney the different tribes used many of the same colors because that was what was available form the traders in the day. The biggest difference in beads and how they are used in the combinations of colors (one color used against another color, if that makes it clearer).

Here's a reference to this written years ago.

Buck
 Thank you for the info. I've looked into some of this with a bead history group. Very accurate.
God bless:
Stoney

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